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  • Writer's pictureDomenic

The Rules of the Game| Review

Updated: May 31, 2022

(Originally wrote this review for a school assignment)

About a few months ago I found a list of the greatest films of all time ranked by​ Sight and Sound​. The list had become infamous for dethroning ​Citizen Kane ​as the greatest film with instead placing ​Vertigo ​as the best of all time. Scrolling through the list I found many movies I would not expect to see such as ​Mulholland Drive​, ​In the Mood for Love​, and ​Once Upon a Time in the West,​ but one film was so high that in my opinion at the time would be nowhere even close to its spot. That film was ​La Regle De Jeu ​translated to ​The Rules of the Game​ in English. ​The Rules of the Game​ most often holds the position of the greatest French film of all time. I greatly disagreed with these statements instead stating that ​The 400 Blows​ was the greatest French film of all time. You could promptly say that I believed that ​The Rules of the Game​ was greatly overrated. My first viewing of ​The Rules of the Game​ came a few months before discovering the list and wasn’t pleasant to say the least. I found the film to be boring andnot going anywhere. My film taste at the time of viewing ​The Rules of the Game​ was terrible andincredibly amateur. I had not yet discovered what makes a truly great and remarkable film,instead focusing on entertainment value. Many critics felt the same feeling toward ​The Rules ofthe Game ​as I did but instead criticizing it as offensive to the people of France. I found the filmoverrated for the longest time even though my film taste had greatly advanced, until I had theperfect idea of rewatching it. The Rules of the Game​ follows an affair between the two main characters, Andre and Christine, and the many miss encounters they experience at a hunting party. Christine’s married maid, Lisette, has her own love affair with the local poacher. Christine's husband, Robert, also has an affair with a mistress at the party. As the film comes to a close, one character confesses his feelings to Christine which leads to a vicious collusion among every character present. The film was released in 1939 and was directed by the great Jean Renoir. The film succeeds at establishing itself as a satire of war-time France and a political statement to the people of France. The film holds up a mirror to the current state of France when the film was released and calls out the corruption and fraud of the French government. The screenplay is incredible with interesting and amazing dialogue, daring and nail-biting scenes, and interesting and fully developed characters. Even the most unimportant scenes have masterful dialogue and direction that leaves the audience hooked until the very end. John Renoir shows off his masterful directing styles and goes beyond what was acceptable to be shown on the silver screen at the time. The entire plot of ​The Rules of the Game​ neglects the rules of what was acceptable to be viewed by the public in France instead pursuing the boundaries of cinematic art. The French government did not come kindly to being portrayed in a negative light and restricted most filmmakers from being portrayed in such a negative way on the silver screen. The plot functions as if it were a snowball falling down a mountain, gaining traction until it reaches its peak and thus collides with a tree. Renoir directs and composes every scene with such precision to create a distinct cinematic style. In conclusion, ​The Rules of the Game​ is practically flawless in every aspect imaginable and deserves the title of “the greatest french film of all time.”

Time Stamp: December 12, 2019

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